Take a break in Waikanae to discover the nature reserve. Pathways allow you to explore the swamp forest habitat and the eels are fed at 2pm.

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Waikanae is a popular place for retirement and beach holidays. The wide Tasman Sea surf beach is great for swimming and long beachcombing sessions. The local nature reserve provides a unique opportunity to learn about the natural history of New Zealand. It takes a couple of hours to explore the well-maintained pathways. The Waikanae River, to the south of the town, has swimming holes, walkways and popular whitebaiting spots. There are many artists living in the area; it’s fun to browse the galleries. Waikanae has a comprehensive shopping centre.

Functional facts: Approx. population 10,230, information centre, good range of shops, services and accommodation.